Why do bookstores insist on carrying copies of only the first book in a series? I understand their concerns about space and their need for selective inventory, but rarely do I go to the bookstore for the first book in a series. If I haven’t started it yet, surely I have the self control to wait for a copy at the library. It’s the second book in a series that has me calling bookstores an hour before they close to find out just how fast they can rush a copy so that I can get it before my flight home when really two days ago wouldn’t have been soon enough.
As you might suspect, I read Mistborn. Two word summary: Loved it. Four word summary: Really really loved it. I love it so much I even forget that a summary is not the same as a reaction.
This was supposed to be a book we lingered over and posted about more than once, but I read it FAR too quickly for that. So, since I know you haven’t started yet and I want to avoid spoiling everything, I’m going to hold off the more in-depth review for later.
Instead, let’s talk about anticipation.
Mistborn is entirely self-contained (with, perhaps, one or two sentences hinting at the future books) but I immediately went crazy trying to get a hold of the next one. It’s been out for quite some time, so it seemed somehow unjust that I couldn’t find it at the library (in Boulder OR Tigard!), couldn’t find it at a bookstore, and everyone kept saying “oh, but we have the first one available!”
I’ve always associated this kind of obsessive possessiveness with cliffhangers. If Buffy or Doctor Who ends on even a minor cliffhanger, I’m clicking next without any regard for external commitments, whereas finishing a season or multi-part story (or even a really good self-contained episode) makes me want to stop and savor it. And it’s the same way with books. I agonized over The Hunger Games, scrutinized each and every Harry Potter, and dragged Ryan 45 minutes out of town to get a copy of The Wise Man’s Fear.
I don’t handle anticipation well. (Or, from a marketer’s perspective, perhaps I handle it a little too well), but, until recently, stand-alone novels have always been a welcome relief from the anxiety.
Mistborn, as I’ve repeated several times already, had me jittery with longing, and The Name of the Star, our other recent Book Club selection, ended with a ridiculous teaser for the next book that I was effortlessly able to shrug off.
And it wasn’t a matter of liking one and disliking the other. The only reason I haven’t posted an equally obsessed post about The Name of the Star is that you did it first and said everything I wanted to say, but better 🙂 Maureen Johnson’s book was creepy and spine-tingly and thrilling and I read it in the dark on a stormy night just as I was warned not to. It was brilliant.
I would suggest that I’m getting better at accepting what I cannot control (the year long wait until NotS2 is available), but then a three day wait until someone returns a book to the library seems insurmountable.
Maybe I’ve just built up a resistance to cliffhangers*
Anyway, I’m so excited to hear your thoughts once you start reading! And , even though they are much-delayed, I am working on some more specific thoughts about Name of the Star and Mistborn: The Final Empire.
P.S. Although it fits with the theme, I’m restraining myself from adding Wildwood and Hugo Cabret to the list. I had to return Wildwood in the MIDDLE of reading it because there was a non-extendable return date (the agony!) and my weeks-long hold on Hugo Cabret finally came in the day before I left for the holidays. Unfrabjous day 😦